Women's Swim & Dive Take Home MAAC Championship
With a tremendous amount of effort and focus in the pool this weekend, Marist women's swimming and diving won their 6th straight MAAC championship with ease. The Red Fox women earned what would amount to the largest margin of victory for them in program history, besting second place Canisius by 332 points. "There is nothing like the feeling of being so successful as a team. Everyone left everything they had on the diving board and in the pool"-said freshman Megan Berardelli.
Although the women fell behind foes Canisius and Saint Peter's on day one, they stormed back on day two to claim the lead that they wouldn't relinquish. Day three's highlights consisted of first place finishes by freshman Karly Haradin in the 1000 meter freestyle and the 1,650 meter freestyle and sophomore Isabella Morrale in the 100 meter breaststroke. Also showing out for the lady Red Foxes was sophomore Meredith Wurtz, who set Marist records in the 50 and 100 freestyle events, and capped off day three by anchoring the first place 400 yard freestyle relay team of Bethany Powhida, Isabella Morreale, Georgia Goldman in 3:49.32.
Headlines on the men's side were stolen by the 400 yard freestyle relay team. The first place finishing team of Spencer Kelley, Bill Drennen, Ryan Murphy, and John Spitzer broke the Marist team record, and was just shy of the MAAC record. " It was a honor to get to be on the relay teams, and as the anchor I got to watch our lead grow more and more every time one of our swimmers dove in for that relay."-recalls Spitzer. Placing first again, although this time individually, was sophomore Ryan Murphy in the 1650 yard freestyle, and John Spitzer in the 100 yard. Murphy also qualified for two NCAA "B" cuts. Overall the Red Fox men placed second to Rider.
Both teams for Marist picked up big points on the diving board as well. The trio of Kimberly Tobias, Megan Berardelli, and Renata Diotalevi, swept the top three spots in the one meter dive, while also placing in sixth, second, and first place respectively in the three meter dive to further add to the Red Foxes domination. Oftentimes in individual competition it is hard for athletes to transition from regular season to intense postseason competition, but not for the divers who kept each other in check. "We always push each other to do better" said a pleased Berardelli "With such a good dynamic between the three of us, it was not hard to transition from dual meets to a championship meet because we continued supporting each other as we always had". Junior Josh Dodway followed suit also placing second in the one meter dive on the men's side.
Next for the Red Fox swimmers is the ECAC championships in Pittsburgh in two weeks while the divers have the NCAA Zone Qualifier Diving Championships in Buffalo the second weekend in March.
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